New ND members able to vote for leader

The election for the next New Democracy leader may not take place until December 6 to allow the party to enroll fresh members who would also have the right to vote, sources said yesterday. This means that should there be no clear winner in the first round, a second round of voting would be held on December 13. Earlier this week, it seemed that the whole process would have been done by December 6. The head of the party’s organizing committee, Dimitris Sioufas, spoke yesterday with the four candidates who have declared interest in being ND’s new president – Dora Bakoyannis, Antonis Samaras, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Panayiotis Psomiadis – to discuss the details of the voting process. Sioufas is due to meet with current ND leader Costas Karamanlis today so the former prime minister can give his consent to the purpose of the extraordinary congress on November 7 being changed from electing a new leader to approving a change to the party’s constitution. The congress will also have to give the green light for ND to accept new members joining the party right up to the day of the leadership election. The conservatives had initially been considering the idea of only allowing members already registered with the party to vote for the next leader but this appears to have been ditched. In order to allow time for new members to join, the election is now likely to take place on December 6, rather than November 29. Prospective members will be able to enroll just by showing an identity card and paying a 2-euro membership fee.